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How to save "Greece" Brand

Our neighbor Greece is facing an uncertain future… Setting aside the financial dimension, the country will need time to restore its brand image tarnished in terms of “positive perceptions”.

According to the Aloft research measuring American citizens’ perception of Greece, the financial crisis caused a 41% drop in the number of people who deem Greece a “pleasant country”. Greece lost 9 ranks according to the 4th edition of the Country Brand Rankings published by the Spanish firm Bloom Consulting; however, the country is still the 25th most attractive destination in the world and 11th in Europe. What will happen next year is uncertain, but the perception of Greece as a “potentially dangerous for tourists” is beginning to spread. A lot of people think that the cash flow problems increased crime rates, and the word of mouth is constantly shaping the perception of the country...

It seems that the Greek government will need to include “reliable” to the “rebranding” item of their emergency action plan. What Greece and any other country who wants to overcome the crisis perception need to do include:

  • The city/country needs to determine a vision and the positioning they require for the next 5 to 10 years. And this needs to be determined through the common will of the people. What characteristics the country/city/region wants to be associated with? What kind of values does it have to build upon?

  • These countries need a serious damage control and then a restructuring process.

  • They need a common brand expression. The public and private sectors need to come together through the values and hopes shared by the people.

Alarm bells for Turkey’s brand

In addition to all these brands, global alarm bells are also chiming for Turkey, which has been increasingly associated with terrorist activities in the Middle East, ISIS, censorship, social media prohibitions, protests and corruption by the global media. Turkey has been under a negative brand perception most recently... Our citizens who assaulted Far Eastern tourists and raided a Chinese restaurant after the claims of “China slaughtering Uighurs” do not even realize how much harm they are causing for the country. Numerical targets are not enough substantiate the targets for 2023 and to create a common vision. Authorities need to assess the damage done to the brand, employ an action plan in accordance with that assessment and bring people together around that target.

At the end of the day, restoring a damaged brand also brings opportunities. This process can be transformed into an evaluation of how we really want to position our brand. It would be best for the countries to act according to the saying: “Never waste a good crisis”, and to see such crisis as opportunities to pull themselves together...

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